AA speaker Dr. Mike presents a Big Book study podcast and thoughts on recovery

Thoughts on Recovery – No. 68 – The Spiritual Axiom and the Serenity Prayer in the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous – Pages 87-88 – Step 10-11 – Part 2

In part 1, I looked at the spiritual power of pausing whenever I am disturbed. This act of pausing reminds me I am no longer running the show. When I am disturbed I am in danger because I am back in self and separated from God. This is the essence of the spiritual axiom. I need to recognize that what is wrong with me is that I am seeing a situation through self-centered glasses. When I pause I am really saying to myself I better put on a new pair of glasses. I need to see it differently. The situation itself won’t change but my perception of the situation will change. When disturbed I am asleep to the power of God and to become undisturbed I need to be awake or conscious to God’s power. Pausing allows me to access the Power.

Now that I have paused the second action I am directed to take is to ask for the right thought or action. I am asking God to enter my mind and direct my thinking which will result in right actions. This is what the serenity prayer is saying. I can’t make the right choice of action when disturbed. I need God to give me serenity. To be undisturbed. To have clarity. The act of pausing allows this to happen. Then I ask for the right action. What do I accept and what do I change? If disturbed I usually try to change the things I need to accept or accept the things I needed to change. This caused all sort of problems for me in my lifetime.

I want to react to situations in fit spiritual condition. The process of pausing and asking is how I get into fit spiritual condition. This is the essence of successful sober living. Recognizing when I am off the beam and by pausing and asking get back on the beam.

I ask from a position of humility for the right thought or action. Saying essentially Thy will not mine be done. They remind me this process will place me in much less danger of excitement, fear, worry, self pity or foolish decisions. I will become more efficient. I will not tire so easily because I am not burning up energy foolishly as I did when I was trying to arrange life to suit myself. It works-it really does.

Wow! I call these the 11th step promises. It is absolutely true for me that if I am agitated or doubtful, if I pause and ask God for the right action it always works! Try it!

Welcome comments mhurwitz@gmail.com

Share this post!


  1. Jimmy B. on August 7, 2018 at 11:29 pm

    Nice and easy way to Implement and apply this action into my day, thoughts, and actions.

  2. Ryan Neill on August 7, 2018 at 11:31 pm

    Well said.
    Gotta pause, and ask God for the right thought and action.

  3. Juanita L Craig on August 8, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    It seems to me that this process could actually work but sometimes if I need to accept the situation I get angry that I have to do this, or that the acceptance may cause me pain before I get to the end. I must get through this pain and perhaps walk away.

  4. Grady Golden on January 18, 2019 at 2:12 pm

    I am trying this I really am. It is very true and it has/does work. Thanks be to Him for not demanding perfection, however, progress I am a making

  5. Michael Taylor on April 27, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    Just like an old tape player “pause” I remember listen to AA talks while in work painting pausing the talk and sitting with what i had just heard which awakened my spirit I love your insight thank you

Leave a Comment